Good snake for display vivarium

Hey Morph Market community,

I’m interested in setting up a heavily planted display vivarium for a snake. I have set up a few for dart frogs and tree frogs and I am thinking something similar for snake would be a really appealing addition to my reptile room.

Vivarium size:
Thinking 24x18x24 or 36x18x24. I realize the first one probably limits my snake list pretty heavily. I have room for either at the moment.

Snake preferences:
I want something active and somewhat diurnal or at least visible during the day most of the time. I was thinking Amazon tree boa but really would be great to have something I could get out once in a while and interact with. I don’t handle my snakes daily or anywhere close to it, but every once in a while I will grab a hoggie out to hang out and sun in my window for a bit. Something like a rat snake would be awesome but I’m not sure if they would just destroy a planted vivarium.

Interested to hear your ideas!


A pair of garter snakes could do well in a 36x18x24. Or if you don’t want babies then a 0.2 could work as well. Seems like the best option to me as it fits all of the criteria perfectly


36x18x24 is gonna be tight for an adult ATB. A rough green snake might in option in a viv that size.


Hello @pythondudemd and welcome to the forum! What you are proposing sounds like it’s going to be a mini plant nursery! How wonderful! I agree with @eorr53 that an ATB would not be suitable for the size enclosure you mentioned.

If you want to incorporate a jungle of plants and add a snake to it you will need a light weight arboreal snake so as not to harm/uproot the plants but at the same time give the snake something to climb on. Rough green snakes have been suggested. A vine snake would work as well.

I will also suggest a spotted python or s childrens python. I believe they are semi aboreal and probably more easily handled occasionally than a rough green snake or a vine snake. But even though they are small they may be too heavy for your plants……… :thinking:

Anyhoo, when you finish your project we would love to see pictures of the end product along with your new snake! :pray::blush:


Love the suggestion of a spotted python! It’s a species I have always wanted to work with.

In terms of plants, I would have to choose an appropriate hardscape and plant selection to make this work with a snake. In other words, in won’t be a dart frog vivarium with a snake tossed in there but I would like to really try a naturalistic bio active vivarium with a snake. I do understand the clean up crew won’t be making snake poop or sheds disappear, but I am at the point where it appeals to me much more to keep animals that make interesting displays. My snake rack days are behind me, not that there’s anything wrong with those enclosure types for those that find enjoyment in them!


Garters are a really cool idea as well. There are certainly some eye catching varieties available that we only used to dream of having easy access to 20-30 years ago. I’ll do some reading to see if this is a good fit. I have to wonder if they musk often when habituated. It’s been a full 30 years since I kept a garter and my memory of the experience isn’t so clear. I remember feeding them on live feeder fish and they lived on green reptile carpet. The hobby has come a long way since the 90s.

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I’m not so sure about that. If you have the right clean up crew and only one snake in the enclosure I think your clean up crew should be able to do the job.

Hi there, garter keeper here! So long as they are regularly handled/desensitized to handling, they shouldn’t musk. I’ve got a pair of Checkered garters that are two years old and they haven’t musked in well over a year now.


Since they have been captive bred so much these days, they are pretty easy to get them good for handling. Plus they are very easy to breed and the babies sell quickly so they could pay for themselves (if you do end up with a pair).


Garter snakes may be good for you. I just saw some at the NARBC show in Tinley, and they were fantastic looking. Never had one’s that looked like these when I was a kid.